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With the experience in the field of retail, manufacturing & export for more than 25 years, Harish Closepet envisions Itsy Bitsy to be the ultimate destination in hobby, arts and crafts industry in the Indian market via franchising. In a candid conversatio
What kind of business opportunity do you offer to your potential entrepreneurs and where do you foresee yourself in next five years
Itsy Bitsy is a pioneer in providing total solution in the hobby, arts and crafts sector and provides a one stop retail platform in what till now was a largely unorganised sector. This category is hugely under-serviced and Itsy Bitsy with over 15,000 craft supplies under one roof hopes to bridge the gap in the next five years by opening over 100 stores pan-India in tier- I and II cities.
At what point of time you thought of expanding via the franchise route?
We started this process early this year, we have very carefully studied every aspect of this venture and now we are completely equipped with a compatible model to offer franchise pan-India. Franchising is an arrangement that can suit both parties very well. Becoming a franchisee will reduce one’s risk as a new business owner, as the promoters who are experts in this sector have already established a successful business model and there is a proven market with innovative and creative products to start your business. This will give the franchisee a significant advantage in starting a new business.
Brief us about your entrepreneurial journey so far.
Though it was challenging to create awareness for a completely new Industry, Itsy Bitsy took aggressive steps in establishing connect directly with the crafting community, consumers & students. The communication channels were through social media & print media through which Itsy Bitsy conveyed that if there is a creative solution for crafts in India, it has to be Itsy Bitsy. From a humble beginning of 350 sq.ft store in 2006, we have now reached 6 store chain with an aggressive roll out plan. With massive Research & Development programmes, the Itsy Bitsy team has now landed upon a refined & tested model to expand it’s presence pan-India.
What kind of training and support do you offer to your franchisees?
Working with global sourcing experts in the craft industry is the first advantage to the franchisee. Itsy Bitsy will continuously provide new products and concepts along with the operating manual to develop the stores of its franchisees for complete insight. More over the field representative of the brand will pay regular visits to answer any questions, for advice and guidance with issues such as quality control, customer service, marketing, training and any other aspect of managing the business.